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Todd Jensen writes...

The only episodes of the original series that you never did rambles for were the final two parts of "Hunter's Moon". I don't know if you'll ever be able to do them or not, but I thought I'd give you my own ramble on both.

PART TWO: One of my favorite segments of this episode was the opening in Renaissance Florence, with Demona stealing the Medici Tablet and being pursued by a Hunter in a Leonardo da Vinci-style flying machine. (Though the Hunter does come out looking a little dense when he's cursing about having lost her, while Demona's only a few yards away from him, climbing out of the river. No wonder she's got that smirk on her face.)

Matt's reference to Nokkar at the press conference was also a lot of fun.

Elisa's scene with Jason outside the warehouse was great. It captured their feelings for each other effectively, with the added ironic twist that Elisa doesn't know that Jason was the Hunter who attacked Angela the night before, and Jason doesn't know that Elisa's friend was the gargoyle he'd almost killed the night before. (It reminds me now of the early stages of Buffy and Riley's relationship in Season Four of "Buffy", where Buffy doesn't know that Riley's part of the Initiative, Riley doesn't know that Buffy's a Slayer, and each sees the other as a civilian who needs to be kept out of the way when there's vampire-hunting going on. Though I think - and I hope you won't mind my saying this - that Joss Whedon topped you by having Buffy and Riley finding out about each others' secret lives simultaneously.)

The drama continues in the scene at Elisa's apartment later, when she and Jason almost kiss, followed by her admission (with Goliath listening) that there's someone else in her life, but a relationship with him would be impossible. The devastated response on Goliath's face is great, and moving. (No wonder he goes so berserk on the Hunters' airship shortly afterwards!)

Brooklyn and Lexington's uneasy response towards Goliath's destructiveness (including the scene where they're descending the clock tower steps with him near the end) is also well-handled.

And, of course, the build-up to the moment where Robyn opens fire on the clock tower.... It's a pity I can no longer remember what my initial response to that was.

PART THREE: You've heard this before, but I still think that the opening scene, with Demona killing Charles Canmore in front of his children, feels almost like a twisted version of the young Bruce Wayne seeing his parents' murder. (The difference is that Thomas and Martha Wayne were genuine innocent victims, while Charles Canmore brought about his own death through his pursuit of a pointless feud.)

I remember being curious over where the new Hunters had come from, since the original Hunters of "City of Stone" (except for Macbeth) were long since dead. The revelation that their surname was "Canmore" explained a lot - except that we never found out in "Hunter's Moon" how the hunt resumed, and why it revolved around Demona this time (since Duncan and Canmore's use of the Hunter's alias centered on their feud with Macbeth instead). I hope that the comic book will last long enough to answer that question in full.

The new Hunters stand out from the old ones; instead of scheming tyrants straight out of one of Shakespeare's history plays (as Duncan and Canmore were), they're more misguided. Their Shakespearean analogy (to me) is Hamlet, who also sets out to avenge his father's death, and in the process of his revenge inadvertently brings about more tragedy (the deaths of over half the cast, and Fortinbras being able to take over Denmark without a fight - and since the main thing we know about Fortinbras was that he invaded Poland over a worthless piece of land simply because his uncle wouldn't let him invade Denmark, he doesn't hold much promise as a wise and restrained ruler). The Canmores have nobler qualities than their forebears; Jason is capable of genuine feelings towards Elisa (and a change of heart at the end), in particular. They aren't the straightforward villains that the original Hunters were - which makes their conflict with Goliath's clan all the more tragic.

But they're still dangerous - especially since they blow up the clock tower in attempting to get rid of the gargoyles, which results at least in Captain Chavez getting a broken leg. Despite their having a similar modus operandi to Batman, this is another obvious difference between them; I can't imagine Batman blowing up a police station in Gotham City in an attempt to get rid of the Joker - and then, after discovering that the Joker got away, pretending that he (the Joker) blew up the police station. I've discussed Jon's behavior in framing the gargoyles for the destruction while aware of the truth about them, but Jason and Robyn don't come off much better. They've endangered and harmed their fellow humans in the course of their hunt - and instead of taking responsibility for it, blame it on the gargoyles. (To be fair to them, they do it in order to help flush the clan out rather than to evade arrest for their actions, but it's still far from honorable behavior.)

Which brings me to a side-point about the Hunters. The obvious reason why we see them as villains is that we know the truth about the gargoyles - that they're not all like Demona, and the Hunters are wrongfully persecuting an entire species for the crimes of a single member (and a member who's out of favor with her own former clan, at that). But even if the gargoyles were the demonic monsters that the Canmores believed them to be, the Hunters are still pursuing them out of a senseless vendetta, rather than to protect the public from them - and probably do more to endanger the public than the gargoyles could have done on their own. Their reasons for gargoyle-hunting are not noble ones. And while they're aware of Demona's plans to wipe out humanity, they seem to be after her more because of her past actions against her family, than because of her schemes to commit genocide.

Goliath's blaming the Hunters for Elisa going over the dam, when he's more to blame, is one of the most chilling moments of the series, and a further sign of how much the feud is warping him. Fortunately, Elisa's return snaps him out of it in time - though too late to save Jon Canmore from taking the steps that will transform him into Castaway. (His cry of "What have I done - what have *they* done?" is another chilling moment, especially to those who've seen "City of Stone Part One".)

And with Elisa saved, Goliath now shows us the best that he's capable of, in how he foils Demona's scheme. Since she's about to carry out her plan at the point that the human world has learned about the existence of gargoyles at last - and most of them are clearly hostile and howling for blood - Goliath's thwarting Demona is a truly heroic act; he's willing to endanger himself and his entire kind (not only from Demona's virus, but also from potential Quarryman-style movements to follow) in order to preserve the humans, even though most of the humans aren't likely to show any gratitude at this point.

The final scenes (following Xanatos's rescue of the gargoyles) make a fine wrap-up to the season. Elisa talking to Jason in the hospital (including the mention of Demona and Jon out hunting each other - a great way to resolve that issue if there wouldn't be a third season). Xanatos assuring Elisa that the feud with the clan is over (of course, we know now that he's still scheming - and his current scheme could lead to a clash with the clan anyway). The actions of the other gargoyles as they settle into their new (or old) home - and finally Goliath and Elisa speaking to each other atop the highest tower, and the kiss. A great ending.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I would like to do those rambles, but there's been such a gap in watching the series with my kids, that we'd almost have to start over. And frankly, now that my kids are older, I'm not sure when we'll be able to put together 33 hours (even scattered over 66 days) to do it.

Response recorded on February 04, 2008